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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Interview with Vicki L. Weavil, author of Crown of Ice!

My apologies to those whose posts were supposed to go up late yesterday and throughout today -- I was taken sick suddenly, and didn't have a chance to finish setting & scheduling. Sorry! The posts will be a tiny bit more closely spaced today as a result, and slightly out of order (Top Ten Tuesday on a Wednesday, y'all), but bear with me and we should be back on track soon!And with that bit of housekeeping taken care of, please welcome today's author, Vicki L. Weavil, for an interview we promised a few days ago, as well as more chances to win the Month9Books prize pack, featuring her book, Crown of Ice and Julie Reece's The Artisans!

Until recently, The Snow Queen was a more obscure fairy tale (Yet always one of my favorites!) What inspired you to twist the tale into a story of your own?
I’ve loved H.C. Andersen’s The Snow Queen since I was a child. So when I decided to write a Young Adult fairy tale retelling, it was the first story that came to mind.
While writing my adaption I finally realized why the original story always had such a hold on me. You see, when I was a child, I was extremely sensitive. The slightest disapproving look could make me dissolve into tears. Of course, this caused problems. I was the "cry baby” told to stop crying or I'd be "given something to cry about."
By the time I was nine, I did stop crying (at least in public). I built a wonderful mental castle and encased myself within its thick walls. I learned not to let anything touch me, so nothing could hurt me. I buried my emotions.
Of course, this wasn’t healthy, although as a coping mechanism, it did allow me to survive, and even thrive in certain parts of my life (intellectually, for example). But as I got older, I found my survival tactics had created serious problems of their own. I then made a significant effort to break down my walls and learn to feel again.
So the idea of a teen Snow Queen— a girl who’d been forced her to "freeze" her heart and emotions in order to survive—felt like something I could write with honesty and real emotion. I wanted to explore what it would take for such a person to come back to life. I wanted to show how she overcame her survival mechanisms and actually learned to care and love.
The whole idea of freezing, of ice, of survival against the odds, of intellect vs. emotions tied-in so beautifully with Andersen's themes I knew I'd found my story.
What was the hardest part about writing CROWN OF ICE? The easiest?
The most difficult aspect was creating a character who is, honestly, not very likeable at the beginning of the story. Thyra is so controlled and closed off, I had to work hard to subtly show the cracks in her armor—to reveal that under her cold exterior beat a real, human heart.
The easiest thing was depicting Luki, Thyra’s wolf companion. He just seemed to come to life immediately, and I had great fun writing him.
Do you plan to write more fairy tale-inspired novels in the future?
I have no immediate plans to write another fairy tale retelling. But, you never know—I plan to keep writing as long as I live, so I may decide to do another retelling at some point.
My next published novel, also with Month9Books, will be a YA scifi titled FACSIMILE. It will be released in Feb. of 2016, with a sequel following.
I am currently writing another YA Fantasy, but it is not based on any fairy or folk tale.
Which fairy tale villain would you never want to reform and why?
I wouldn’t want to reform Cinderella’s stepmother, because I think the character is one of the more realistic villains in fairy tales. She is a typical human, without powers, who could change herself if she wanted to do so. But she chooses her own fate, and I think that choice should stand.
If you could own any magical object from a fairy tale (spinning wheel, magic mirror, glass slipper, poison apple, etc.) what would you choose and why?
I would like the singing harp Jack from Jack and the Bean Stalk discovers in the giant’s treasure hoard. Mainly because I love music and a harp that plays itself and sings would be a wonderful thing to have around when I’m writing!
What are your favorite obscure fairy tales?
From Grimm: Bearskin; The White Snake; The Spindle, The Shuttle, and the Needle; and The Coat of Many Skins.
From Hans Christian Andersen: Elder Tree Mother; The Elfin Hill.
I enjoy many Native American tales, especially those involving the Thunderbird.
I also love the literary fairy tale stories written by George MacDonald (THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN, AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND, and others).

Mermaid or princess?
Mermaid—I love the water and enjoy swimming (obvious from my YA Scifi, FACSIMILE).
Hero or villain?
Hero. Even when I write villains, I like to think they could be heroes in a different story. I actually believe we all have hero and villain in us. It’s our choices that determine which we end up being.
Prince or knight?
Knight—I prefer the more ordinary person who makes something of themselves, rather than someone born into wealth or power.
Befriend the birds or the mice?
Birds—I would so love to fly (and have been a bird, once or twice, in my dreams).
Baba Yaga or a Djinn?
Baba Yaga—a wise woman and an older woman with power. I like the fact she is benevolent or dangerous, depending upon circumstances. I find her ambiguity fascinating.

The folks at Month9Books have offered up prize packs of Julie Reece's The Artisans and Vicki L. Weavil's Crown of Ice for Fairy Tale Fortnight!
This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and ends April 22nd at midnight, EST.
To enter, make sure you are registered on the FTF giveaway registry, and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
NOTE: Because of this there are entried available in the Rafflecopter that you're not able to earn yet -- but you will be! We have interviews coming up with both Juie and Vicki, which will give you more chances to win, so before you go digging around for interviews to comment on: they're not up yet! Don't worry, we'll have the giveaway posted in the interviews, too, so you can get your extra entries! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil
Get It | Add It    242 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Month9Books, LLC
Thyra Winther's seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact.

Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai's childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra's willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts - to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast.

Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's desire, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

Vicki Lemp Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. Since obtaining her undergraduate degree in Theatre from the University of Virginia, she’s gone on to acquire two masters degrees, living in places as diverse as New York City and rural North Carolina. She’s currently the library director for a performing an visual arts university. Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Want more fairy tales? Return to the main schedules
by clicking here for The Book Rat or here for A Backwards Story


  1. Thanks for hosting my interview and the giveaway! Love celebrating fairytales and retellings.

  2. Yay! I LOVE The Snow Queen (although as a child, it was because the hero was a girl, and there were these deep undercurrents of true friendship that I wanted to have in my life). I'm a fan of all retellings and can't wait to read Crown of Ice!

  3. Crown of Ice sounds really cool. (I promise, the pun wasn't intended!) It sounds like the main character really grows - which I love when that happens. I'm certainly going to read this book.

  4. I love the Snow Queen! I first learned of the story through Frozen and have read the original now.

  5. I enjoyed reading Crown of Ice, especially the idea of having the Snow Queen as a mathematician! Really original and awesome for a fairy tale heroine : )

  6. Crown of Ice sounds delightful! I love the focus on mirrors... For some reason they make great story elements.


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